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Old March 15th 18, 07:21 PM posted to sci.geo.meteorology
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Default February 2018 National Weather Summary



4-10: Cold weather across the Plains and Midwest contrasted with record-setting warmth in the West. Weekly temperatures averaged 10 to 20F above normal in many Western locations. Warm weather (up to 10F above normal) also prevailed across the lower Southeast, but temperatures averaged at least 10 to 20F below normal across the northern Plains and upper Midwest. Warm, dry weather across the remainder of the West resulted in the premature loss of some high-elevation snowpack. The average water content of the high elevation Sierra Nevada dipped from 5 to 4 inches in early February and was barely 20 percent of average for the date. Meanwhile, portions of the southern Plains passed the 4-month mark without measurable precipitation. February 10 marked the 120th consecutive day without measurable rain or snow in Amarillo, TX, far exceeding the former (1956-57) standard of 75 days. Farther north, however, snow frequently blanketed the northern Plains and much of the Midwest. Among a handful of daily-record lows set across the North was a reading of -26F in Turner, MT, on February 4. Later, Rapid City, SD, registered a daily-record low (-16F) for February 10. Most other temperature highlights were related to record-setting warmth in the West and lower Southeast. Daily-record highs reached or exceeded the 90-degree mark in several California locations, including Thermal (93 and 91F, respectively, on February 4 and 8) and Camarillo (90F on February 8). In Deep South Texas, McAllen and Brownsville posted daily-record highs of 90°F on February 4. Elsewhere on the 4th, Half Moon Bay, CA, tied a monthly record (78F) first achieved on February 27, 1986. On February 8, Ephrata, WA, tied a monthly record (65F) originally set on February 16, 1977. On each of the first 7 days in February, San Jose, CA, posted daily-record highs (74, 76, 78, 76, 79, 77, and 76F). San Jose logged another daily record, 80F, on February 9.. Farther inland, Las Vegas, NV, closed the week with consecutive daily-record highs of 78°F on February 9-10. Meanwhile in Florida, Tampa (86 and 84F) and Naples (86F both days) also notched a pair of daily-record highs on February 910.

11-17: Late-week showers on the southern Plains ended several record-setting streaks without measurable precipitation but did not change the drought situation. Mostly dry weather prevailed from the central Plains into the upper Midwest. On the northern Plains, ample snow fell to insulate winter wheat from sub-zero temperatures. In fact, a rather dramatic contrast in temperatures featured bitterly cold weather on the northern High Plains (generally 10 to 15F below normal) and record-setting warmth in the Southeast (at least 10 to 15F above normal). Early-week temperatures dipped to 0F or below as far south as Nebraska, Iowa, and northern Illinois. Elsewhere, significant precipitation (1 to 3 inches) fell from the mid-South into the Ohio Valley, the northern Mid-Atlantic States, and southern New England. Heavy rain also fell in parts of the lower Southeast, but bypassed Florida’s peninsula. Consistent warmth in the Southeast resulted in numerous daily-record highs. From February 11-13, Fort Myers, FL, opened the week with a trio of daily-record highs (87, 88, and 88°F). By midweek, warmth briefly arrived across the Great Lakes States, where record-setting highs for February 14 reached 54F in Wheaton, MN, and 49°F in Traverse City, MI. More widespread warmth developed across the South and East on February 15, when daily-record highs soared to 84°F in Childress, TX; 83F in New Orleans, LA; 81F in West Plains, MO; and 77F in Bowling Green, KY. New Orleans also set a record the following day, February 16, with another high of 83F. Elsewhere on the 16th, monthly record highs were tied in locations such as Charlotte, NC (82F), and Greenville-Spartanburg, SC (81F). From February 16-18, Mobile, AL, posted three consecutive daily-record highs (82, 80, and 80F). In stark contrast, several daily-record lows were established across the northern High Plains and the Northwest. On February 12, Turner, MT, registered a daily-record low of -33F. Meanwhile in Oregon, Redmond collected consecutive daily-record lows (7 and 4F, respectively) on February 12-13.

18-24: Weekly temperatures averaged at least 20 to 25F below normal on the northern High Plains, but were at least 20°F above normal in many locations from the central Gulf Coast States to the central Appalachians. The phenomenal Eastern warmth resulted in dozens of monthly record highs, especially from February 20-22. Bitterly cold air remained entrenched across northern sections of the Rockies and High Plains. In Montana, Butte posted consecutive daily-record lows (24 and -30F, respectively) on February 19-20. Lake Yellowstone, WY, dipped to -33F on February 20. Meanwhile in California’s Central Valley, Sacramento noted five freezes during the week, including daily-record lows of 29°F on February 19, 23, and 24. In western Oregon, record-setting lows for February 23 plunged to 21°F in Salem and 24F in Portland. Seattle, WA, also collected a daily-record low of 24F on February 23. Sub-zero daily-record lows were set at numerous interior Western locations, including Pullman, WA (-6F on February 19 and 20); Ely, NV (-5F on February 24); and Cedar City, UT (-2F on February 24). On the Plains, daily-record lows plummeted to -31F (on February 20) in Valentine, MT; -18F (on February 21) in Rapid City, SD; and -7F (on February 21) in Denver, CO. Farther east, however, historically warm weather prevailed. The parade of monthly records began on February 20 with highs of 90°F in Sarasota-Bradenton, FL; 82F in Louisville, KY; 81F in Charleston and Huntington, WV; and 79F in Cincinnati, OH. Some of the all-time records, including those in all of the aforementioned locations except Sarasota-Bradenton, had been set (or achieved most recently) just a year ago, on February 24, 2017. On February 21, the next wave of monthly records included highs of 87F in Alma, GA; 85F in Montgomery, AL; 82F in Reading, PA; 80F in Newark, NJ; 77F in Hartford, CT; and 74F in Concord, NH. The warmth lingered through week’s end in the Southeast, where monthly record highs were broken on February 23 in Meridian, MS (86F); Roanoke, VA (84F); Athens, GA (83F); and Chattanooga, TN (81F). From February 14-24, New Orleans, LA, registered highs of 80F or greater on 11 consecutive days. Similarly, Naples, FL, logged at least 23 consecutive maxima of 80F or higher from February 4-26. Naples also tallied five consecutive daily-record highs (89, 87, 87, 88, and 86F) from February 21-25.

25-28: Warmth remained entrenched early in the week across the Southeast, where record-setting highs for February 25 climbed to 87F in Savannah, GA, and 86F in Charleston, SC. Later, a surge of warmth across the Midwest and Northeast preceded a late-week storm. The last 2 days of February featured consecutive daily-record highs in Michigan locations such as Flint (59 and 61F) and Saginaw (59 and 61F). In the Northeast, daily-record highs for February 28 rose to 64F in Rochester, NY, and 59°F in Burlington, VT. Record-setting warmth continued across the lower Southeast through March 1, when highs soared to 89F in Melbourne, FL, and 88F in Savannah, GA. Many locations in Florida, including Melbourne, completed their warmest February, erasing records mostly set in 1932, 1949, or 1959. At week’s end, warmth shifted to the central and southern Plains, where record-breaking highs for March 3 peaked at 81F in Garden City, KS, and Borger, TX. In contrast, chilly Western weather resulted in several daily-record lows. In California, for example, record-setting lows for February 25 dipped to 28F in Napa and 31F in Thermal. Two days later, daily-record lows for the 27th in Oregon plunged to -10F in Meacham and 3F in Klamath Falls.

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